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Pacific Storm and Surf Forecast
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2020 5:01 PM
Buoys: Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Buoy Forecast:
Northern CA - Southern CA - Hawaii - Gulf of Alaska - Pacific Northwest
Pacific Links:  Atmospheric Models - Buoy Data - Current Weather - Wave Models
Forecast Archives: Enter Here
A chronology of recent Mavericks Underground forecasts. Once you enter, just click on the HTML file forecast you want to review (e.g. 073199.html equals July 31, 1999). To view the maps that correspond to that forecast date, select the html file labeled 073199 maps.html
2.5 - California & 1.5 - Hawaii
Using the 'Summer' Scale
(See Swell Category Table link at bottom of page)

Probability for presence of largest swells in near-shore waters of NCal, SCal or Hawaii.    

Issued for Week of Monday 3/30 thru Sun 4/5

Swell Potential Rating Categories
5 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Significant swell
4 = Good probability for 1-2 days of Significant swell
3 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Intermediate/Advanced swell
2 = Good probability for  1-2 days of
Intermediate/Advanced swell
1 = Good probability for 3 or more days of Impulse or Windswell
0 = Low probability for 1-2 days of Impulse or Windswell   

Two S. Hemi Swells Tracking North
Another Gale To Follow

On Tuesday, March 31, 2020 :

  • Buoy 233 (Pearl Harbor Entrance)/Buoy 239 (Lanai)/Barbers Point (Buoy 238) : Seas were 4.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 1.5 ft @ 14.9 secs from 222 degrees.
  • Buoy 106 (Waimea): Seas were 4.1 ft @ 14.3 secs with swell 2.1 ft @ 9.1 secs from 28 degrees. Water temp 75.4 degs.
  • Buoy 46025 (Catalina RDG): Seas were 2.3 ft @ 6.2 secs with swell 0.9 ft @ 13.9 secs from 183 degrees. Wind at the buoy was north at 2-4 kts. Water temperature 59.2 degs. At Harvest Buoy (071) primary swell was 4.8 ft @ 6.0 secs from 317 degrees. At Santa Monica (028) swell was 1.1 ft @ 15.7 secs from 217 degrees. At Oceanside (045) swell was 0.9 ft @ 15.9 secs from 206 degrees. Southward at Point Loma (191) swell was 2.8 ft @ 6.4 secs from 281 degrees.
  • Buoy 46012 (Half Moon Bay)/029 (Pt Reyes): Seas were 5.1 ft @ 9.9 secs with swell 3.9 ft @ 10.0 secs from 312 degrees. Wind at the buoy (012) was northwest at 8-10 kts. Water temp 54.5 degs (013), 56.5 degs (012) and 56.3 degs (042).

See Hi-Res Buoy Dashboards (bottom of the page)

Swell Classification Guidelines

Significant: Winter - Swell 8 ft @ 14 secs or greater (11+ ft faces) for 8+ hours (greater than double overhead).
- Head high or better.
Advanced: Winter - Swell and period combination capable of generating faces 1.5 times overhead to double overhead (7-10 ft)
Summer - Chest to head high.
Intermediate/Utility Class: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces at head high to 1.5 times overhead (4-7 ft).
- Waist to chest high.
Impulse/Windswell: Winter - Swell and period combination generating faces up to head high (1-4 ft) or anything with a period less than 11 secs.
- up to waist high swell. Also called 'Background' swell.

Surf Heights for Hawaii should be consider 'Hawaiian Scale' if period exceeds 14 secs.

Current Conditions
On Tuesday (3/31) in North and Central CA windswell was producing waves at waist high and clean but a little warbled but still rideable. Protected breaks were thigh to waist high and clean and very soft and mushed and rideable but nothing more. At Santa Cruz occasional sets were thigh to maybe waist high and clean and soft. In Southern California/Ventura waves were maybe thigh high and clean and very weak. In North Orange Co surf was waist high on the sets coming from the south and a bit on the soft side and super clean. South Orange Country's best summertime breaks were up to waist high and super clean but soft. North San Diego had surf at thigh high and soft and clean. Hawaii's North Shore had rare sets to maybe waist high but was otherwise flat and clean. The South Shore was getting some nice southern hemi swell with waves occasionally waist to chest high and clean and lined up. The East Shore was getting easterly windswell at waist high and modestly chopped with easterly trades in control.

See QuikCASTs for the 5 day surf overview or read below for the detailed view.

Meteorological Overview
On Tuesday (3/31) no swell of interest was hitting either Hawaii or California. That said some small southern hemi swell of indeterminate source was making for occasional rideable waves on the South Shore of Oahu. Looking forward a weak low pressure system developed Sun-Mon (3/30) in the Northern Gulf producing 18 ft seas aimed southeast. North angled windswell is expected to arrive in North CA later on Tues (3/31). Another cutoff low is to form north of Hawaii on Thurs-Fri (4/3) producing 22 ft seas aimed at the Islands. So there's some hope there. And maybe a weak low to produce 18-29 ft seas in the Northern Gulf on Mon (4/6) offering another glimmer of hope. Otherwise nothing else to follow. Down south a small gale developed on the eastern edge of the CA swell window on Tues (3/24) producing up to 33 ft seas aimed north. Small swell is radiating towards CA and points south of there. And another small gale formed in the Central South Pacific on Sun (3/29) lifting northeast to the Southeast Pacific through Tues (3/31) producing 35 ft seas aimed northeast. Some swell is radiating northeast. And secondary fetch to produce up to 38 ft seas on the eastern edge of the California swell window late Tues (3/31) aimed well northeast. After that things are to take a break until Tues (4/7) when a small gale is to again develop on the eastern edge of the CA swell window producing up to 40 ft seas aimed northeast.

See all the details below...


Current marine weather and wave analysis plus forecast conditions for the next 72 hours

North Pacific

Surface Analysis
On Tuesday (3/31) no ground swell was in the water over the North Pacific with high pressure in control. But windswell was radiating southeast towards the US West Coast (See Gulf Low below).

Over the next 72 hours starting Wed (4/1) a local pressure gradient driven by high pressure off the CA coast and north winds are to be building at 20-25 kts over all of North and Central CA producing local short period north windswell at exposed breaks. This situation to continue through Fri (4/3). See QuikCASTs for windswell details.


Gulf Low
Low pressure developed in the Northern Gulf of Alaska on Sun AM (3/29) producing 25-30 kt northwest winds resulting in 15 ft seas at 52N 149W aimed southeast. Fetch built in coverage in the evening at 30 kts with seas building to 17 ft at 50N 142W aimed southeast. Fetch was pushing into British Columbia on Mon AM (3/30) at 30 kts with seas pushing to 19 ft at 50N 135W aimed southeast and mostly east of the NCal swell window. The gale was fading in the evening with seas mainly just off the coast of Vancouver Islands pushing to shore and of no interest. Windswell to possibly result for North CA on Tues-Wed (4/1).

NCal: Expect windswell to arrive on Tues (3/31) building to 5 ft @ 10-11 secs at sunset (5.0 ft). Windswell to continue on Wed (4/1) at 4.0 ft @ 11 secs (4.5 ft) but with much local shorter period windswell building on top. Swell Direction: 315 degrees


North Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height


Tropical Update
No tropical systems of interest are being monitored.

California Nearshore Forecast
On Tuesday (3/31) low pressure is to be pushing into British Columbia with northwest winds 10-15 kts for North and Central CA and 20 kts over Pt Conception and building to 20 kts for all of Central CA later. Light rain for Bodega Bay northward in the afternoon. Wed (4/1) high pressure returns with northwest winds 20-25 kts for North and Central CA all day. No precip with clearing skies. Thurs (4/2) no change is forecast with high pressure and northwest winds 20-25 kts all day for North and Central CA. On Fri (4/3) northwest winds driven by high pressure are to be 20 kts for North and Central CA fading to 10-15 kts for North CA later as weak low pressure approaches. Rain developing for NCal overnight. Sat (4/4) northwest winds to be 10-15 kts for North and Central CA early and 5-10 kts later with new low pressure approaching. Rain for North and Central CA down to Big Sur early fading some through the day. Snow for the Sierra mainly during the day. Sun (4/5) south winds are forecast at 15-20 kts for North CA all day and southwest 10-15 kts early for Central CA building to 15+ kts later as another low moves down the coast. Rain early for North CA building over the whole state later. Snow for Tahoe starting early building slowly through the day, then heavy overnight. Mon (4/6) south winds are forecast at 15 kts for Central CA and east at 10 kts for NCal early turning north 15-20 kts for both North and Central CA later as the low moves inland over Southern CA. West winds building to 15 kts for SCal later. Light rain mainly for Central CA early but heavier for Southern CA early fading through the day. Heavy snow for the Central and Southern Sierra early fading mid-AM. On Tues (4/7) northwest winds are forecast at 15-20 kts early for North and Central CA holding all day as high pressure takes route. No precip forecast.

Total snow accumulation for the week for Squaw Valley, Sugar Bowl, Kirkwood and Mammoth at 24, 26, 23 and 14 inches respectively.

Snow Models: (Scroll down for resort specific forecasts). Updated!


South Pacific

On Tuesday (3/31) the jetstream was consolidated ridging/pushing south of New Zealand down to 70S with winds generally weak then lifting northeast over the Southeast Pacific forming a trough with it's apex at 50S with winds to 120 kts offering some support for gale development on the eastern edge of the California swell window. Over the next 72 hours the trough in the east is track east and fade on Thurs (4/2) while the ridge in the west is to weaken. But not troughs are forecast offering any support for gale development. Beyond 72 hours starting Sat (4/4) a new ridge is to be building under New Zealand pushing hard south up to the coast of Antarctica. But east of there a new trough is forecast developing over the Central South Pacific being fed by 110 kts winds with that trough sweeping east and building being fed by 130 kts winds later Sun (4/5) offering good support for gale development, then pushing east and out of the California swell window later Mon (4/6). At the same time the ridge under New Zealand is to be sweeping east and mostly taking over the South Pacific pushing down to 70S and holding through the end of the model run on Wed (4/8) offering no support for gale development.


Surface Analysis
Swell from a
small gale that formed in the Southeast Pacific is radiating north (See Southeast Pacific Gale below). Another gale developed behind it again in the far Southeast Pacific generating swell that is radiating north (see Another Southeast Pacific Gale below).

Over the next 72 hours a gale no additional swell production is forecast.



Southeast Pacific Gale
A small gale started building in the far Southeast Pacific Mon AM (3/23) producing south winds at 35-40 kts with seas building from 23 ft at 49S 138W aimed north. Fetch built in coverage while tracking east in the evening with seas building to 27 ft aimed north at 50S 130W aimed northeast. The gale built some more on Tues AM (3/24) on the eastern edge of the CA swell window with 40+ kt south to southeast winds and 31 ft seas building at 53.5S 120 W aimed north. Fetch was fading and tracking southeast in the evening at 35-40 kts with seas 31 ft at 50S 114W. The gale faded and moved east of the CA swell window from there. Possible small swell for CA and points south of there.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival on Wed (4/1) building to 1.7 ft @ 17 secs late (2.5-3.0 ft). Swell building on Thurs (4/2) to 2.0 ft @ 15 secs mid-day (3.0 ft). Swell continues on Fri (4/3) at 1.6 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Another pulse to arrive on Sat (4/4) at 1.8 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles fading on Sun (4/5) from 1.6 ft @ 12-13 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees moving to 177 degrees.

North CA: Expect swell arrival on Thurs (4/2) with swell building to 1.7 ft @ 17 secs (2.5-3.0 ft) mid-day. Swell to continue on Fri (4/3) pushing 1.7 ft @ 15-16 secs (2.5 ft). Swell fading Sat (4/4) fading from 1.7 ft @ 14-15 secs (2.0-2.5 ft). Dribbles on Sun (4/5) fading from 1.7 ft @ 13-14 secs (2.0 ft). Swell Direction: 183 degrees moving to 175 degrees


Another Southeast Pacific Gale
A gale developed well south of New Zealand and just off Antarctica on Sun AM (3/29) producing 40-45 kts southwest winds over a modest sized area and seas building from 30 ft at 68S 162.5W. In the evening winds built to 45-50 kts from the southwest aimed well northeast with seas building 34 ft at 64S 154W aimed northeast. The gale lifted northeast on Mon AM (3/30) with south winds at 40-45 kts and seas 36 ft over a decent sized area at 59S 143.5W aimed northeast. In the evening the gale was starting to fade while tracking northeast with 35-40 kt southwest winds in pockets and seas dissipating from 33 ft at 55.5S 132W aimed northeast. Southwest fetch was fading Tues AM (3/31) from 30-35 kts over a solid area with seas from previous fetch fading from 29 ft over a broad area at 55S 122W aimed northeast. Swell is radiating northeast.

Secondary fetch developed in the Southeast Pacific on Tues AM (3/31) at 40 kts aimed well northeast with 25 ft seas developing over a small area at 64S 141W aimed northeast. In the evening a small fetch of south winds is to be pushing north-northeast at 45-50 kts with 36 ft seas over a modest sized area at 56.5S 129W aimed northeast. Fetch is to be rapidly fading in coverage Wed AM (4/1) and racing east and out of the Scal swell window from 45-50 kts with seas 39 ft at 52S 116W aimed northeast. This system is to fade and push well out of the SCal swell window.

Southern CA: Expect swell arrival late on Mon (4/6) building to 1.8 ft @ 20 secs (3.5 ft). Swell building through the day Tues (4/7) pushing 2.9 ft @ 18 secs late (5.0 ft). Swell Direction: 190 degrees

North CA: Expect swell arrival late on Mon (4/6) building to 1.4 ft @ 20-21 secs (2.5 ft). Swell building through the day Tues (4/7) pushing 2.5 ft @ 18-19 secs late (4.5 ft). Swell Direction: 188 degrees


South Pacific Animations: Jetstream - Surface Pressure/Wind - Sea Height - Surf Height




Marine weather and forecast conditions 3-10 days into the future

North Pacific

Beyond 72 hours no swell producing weather systems are forecast.

But windswell is possible. A weak low pressure system is to be forming in the Northeastern Gulf on Sat AM (4/4) producing 25-30 kts northwest winds and falling southeast positioned just off the North CA coast on Sun (4/5) resulting in building northwest local windswell for CA.

And another weak low pressure system is to again form in the Northern Gulf on Sun PM (4/5) producing northwest winds at 30-35 kts tracking southeast into Monday PM (4/6) producing 25-30 kt northwest winds at that time and then fading also resulting in possible northwest windswell radiating down into the Pacific Northwest and CA.


South Pacific

Beyond 72 hours a gale is forecast developing in the far Southeast Pacific Tues AM (4/7) generating a broad area of 35-40 kt southwest winds and seas building from 29 ft at 65S 143W aimed northeast. In the evening that fetch is to be lifting northeast at 40-45 kts with seas building to 34 ft at 64S 134W aimed northeast. Something to monitor.


MJO/ENSO Forecast


Active MJO Forecast - West Anomalies 4 Days Out

The Madden Julian Oscillation is a periodic weather cycle that tracks east along the equator circumnavigating the globe. It is characterized in it's Inactive Phase by enhanced trade winds and dry weather over the part of the equator it is in control of, and in it's Active Phase by slackening if not an outright reversing trade winds while enhancing precipitation. The oscillation occurs in roughly 20-30 day cycles (Inactive for 20-30 days, then Active for 20-30 days) over any single location on the planet, though most noticeable in the Pacific. During the Active Phase in the Pacific the MJO tends to support the formation of stronger and longer lasting gales resulting in enhanced potential for the formation of swell producing storms. Prolonged and consecutive Active MJO Phases in the Pacific help support the formation of El Nino. During the Inactive Phase the jet stream tends to split resulting in high pressure and less potential for swell producing storm development. Wind anomalies in the Kelvin Wave Generation Area (KWGA) are key for understanding what Phase the MJO is in over the Pacific. The KWGA is located on the equator from 135E-170W and 5 degs north and south (or on the equator from New Guinea east to the dateline). West wind anomalies in the KWGA suggest the Active Phase of the MJO in the Pacific, and east anomalies suggests the Inactive Phase. In turn the Active Phase strengthens and the Inactive Phase weakens the jetstream, which in turn enhances or dampens storm production respectively in the Pacific.The paragraphs below analyze the state of the MJO in the Pacific and provide forecasts for MJO activity (which directly relate to the potential for swell production).

Overview: A double dip La Nina was in control through the Winter of 2017-2018. But warming started building along the South and Central American coast in early March 2018 associated with two upwelling Kelvin Waves, and continued trying to build over equatorial waters over the Summer and Fall, but not enough to declare El Nino and not coupled with the atmosphere. In January 2019, those warm waters were fading, but then rebuilt late in Feb associated with Kelvin Wave (#3). But as of early June 2019 warm water was fading and by August a tongue of cool water was tracking west on the equator from Ecuador over the Galapagos reaching to a point nearly south of Hawaii. El Nino was dead. A bit of a recovery occurred during Fall of 2019, with weak warm water building in the Nino 1.2 region, but cool water hold in a pool off Peru and has not changed as of late Jan 2020.

Fall/Winter 2019/2020 = 5.0/4.0 (California & Hawaii)
Rating based on a 1-10 scale: 1 being the lowest (small and infrequent surf conditions), 5 being normal/average, and 10 being extraordinary (frequent events of large, long period swells)

Rationale: It is assumed the PDO has moved to the warm phase and that a weak borderline El Nino from 2018 is fading out, but not yet completely gone, especially in the atmosphere. Likewise it looks like a La Nina ocean temperature pattern is developing in the equatorial East Pacific, with cooler than normal waters tracking west on the equator. We assumed El Nino like momentum will hold for a while in the atmosphere will take a while to sense that the ocean temperature pattern has changed. But once it does, a turn towards a La Nina like atmospheric pattern will start to develop. that transition is expected in the late Nov-early Dec timeframe. Even so, moderation from the PDO might prevent La Nina from fully developing. Given all that, there is decent probability for a normal start to the Fall surf season (in the Northern Hemisphere) meaning a normal amount of number of storm days and storm intensity, resulting in a normal levels of swell, with normal duration and normal period. But by mid-Dec 2019, the number of storm days, intensity and duration of those storms should start fading and as a result, swell production should fade slightly as well. This pattern is expected to hold through April 2020.

KWGA/Equatorial Surface Wind Analysis & Short-term Forecast (KWGA - Kelvin Wave Generation Area - The area 5 degrees north and south of the equator from 170W to 135E)
Analysis (TAO Buoys): As of (3/30) 5 day average winds were strong from the east over the Eastern equatorial Pacific continuing over the Central Pacific and then solid east over the Dateline and the whole of the KWGA. Anomalies were moderate east over the far East equatorial Pacific fading over the Central Pacific and then modest to moderate easterly over the KWGA.
1 Week Forecast (GFS Model): On (3/31) moderate east anomalies were over the KWGA mainly from the dateline eastward. The forecast calls for east anomalies holding from 175E and points east of there but with west anomalies starting to build 4/2 at weak strength pushing moderate plus strength 4/5 and holding through the end of the model run on 4/7.

Kelvin Wave Generation Area wind monitoring model: West and East

Longer Range MJO/WWB Projections:  
OLR Models: (3/30) A moderate Inactive MJO was over the dateline with the Active Phase solid over the Maritime Continent and starting to reach into the far West Pacific. The statistic model indicates the Inactive Phase is to fade to modest status on day 5 then then gone on day 10 with the Active Phase building over the KWGA and holding decently covering the KWGA on day 15. The dynamic model indicates the same thing but with the Active Phase weak at day 10 and modest on the dateline at day 15.
Phase Diagrams 2 week forecast (ECMF and GEFS): (3/31) The statistical model depicts the Active Phase was modest over the Western Maritime Continent today and is to track east while loosing strength and very weak over the West Pacific at day 15. The GEFS model suggests the same thing.
40 day Upper Level Model (assumed to be a statistical mode and 1 week ahead of what is occurring at the surface): (3/31) This model depicts the Inactive Phase was weak moving over Central America with a moderate Active Phase over the far West Pacific. The Active Phase is to track east and is to push into Central America on 4/25. A moderate Inactive Phase is to start building in the West Pacific on 4/20 moving east over the West Pacific reaching the East Pacific at the end of the model run on 5/10. A weak Active Phase is supposed to start building in the West Pacific at that time.
4 Week CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/30) This model depicts a weak Active MJO pattern was developing over the core of the KWGA today. The forecast indicates the Active Phase and modest west anomalies associated with it building 4/4 and holding stationary in the KWGA to 4/14, then weakening steadily after that but still in the KWGA through 4/26, then fading out at the end of the model run on 4/27.
3 Month CFS Model (850 mb wind): (3/31 - using the 4th/latest ensemble member): This model depicts a weak Inactive MJO pattern over the KWGA today but with weak west anomalies starting to develop. The Inactive Phase is to hold through 4/4 but with weak west anomalies starting to build in the KWGA. Beyond a modest Active Phase is forecast developing 4/10 holding through 4/28 with moderate west anomalies in the KWGA. A modest Inactive Phase/Pattern is to develop 4/24 holding through 6/8 but with weak west anomalies holding through the duration. A weak Active Phase is to develop over the Maritime Continent at the same time on 5/10 through 6/19 but never making it east of 150E in the core of the KWGA. After that a neutral pattern is to set up 6/22 through the end of the model run on 6/28. The low pass filter indicates a low pressure bias with 1 contour line in control of the KWGA centered on the dateline reaching east to the California coast. A second contour line dissipated on 3/29. The remaining contour line is to slowly fade and almost gone at the end of the model run. A high pressure bias previously built in the Indian Ocean last Fall and is to hold till June 5 then dissipate. East anomalies set up in the Indian Ocean starting 10/22/19 and held through Jan 10, then started to become more episodic and are to continue that way, then fading on 6/11 while west anomalies persist in the West Pacific, but slowly retrograding west, but still in the KWGA at the end of the model run. It looks like the high pressure bias/blocking pattern in the Indian Ocean is fading and the effect of the low pressure bias in the Pacific is to start fading too, by early Summer.

CFSv2 3 month forecast for 850 mb winds, MJO, Rossby etc - Alternate link

Subsurface Waters Temps
TAO Array: (3/31) Today in the far West Pacific the 30 deg isotherm continued retrograding west to 156E today. The 29 deg isotherm was retrograding to 178E today. The 28 deg isotherm line which previously was a brick wall aligned and steady at 163W then moving east to 151W was backtracking to 155W but with most body still at 160W at depth today. The 24 deg isotherm was pushing into Ecuador. Anomaly wise, Kelvin Wave #6 was under the dateline at +2.0 degs tracking from the Maritime Continent under the dateline with it's leading edge pushing east to 90W today at +1 degs. Warm water was filling the entire equatorial subsurface Pacific from 150 meters upwards. The hi-res GODAS animation posted 3/24 indicates warm water had formed a Kelvin Wave with warm water falling from 120E down into the dateline at 130m deep peaking there at +2-3 degrees then pushing and rising east to 103W. A pocket of cool water was east of there associated with the upwelling phase of the previous Kelvin Wave Cycle. The GODAS animation appears to be 1 week behind the TAO data but also is more detailed and accurately modeled.
Sea Level Anomalies: (3/24) A previously broad pocket of +1-5 cm anomalies was fading on the equatorial Pacific between 142W pushing east to 110W.

Surface Water Temps
The more warm water in the equatorial East Pacific means more storm production in the North Pacific during winter months (roughly speaking). Cold water in that area has a dampening effect. Regardless of what the atmospheric models and surface winds suggest, actual water temperatures are a ground-truth indicator of what is occurring in the ocean. All data is from blended infrared and microwave sensors.
Satellite Imagery
Hi-res Nino1.2 & 3.4: (3/30) The latest images indicate warm anomalies were modest along the coast of Chile up into Peru and building in coverage from days past with building warm anomalies continuing up off Ecuador up into Central America. But a building stream of cool water was embedded and streaming from Ecuador to the west over the Galapagos to 120W. Markedly warmer water was aligned on the equator from there to the dateline. A broad pocket of cool anomalies was still south of the equator off Peru with a mirror image of it off California and Baja.
Hi-res 7 day Trend (3/30): Weak cooling was building along Peru and stronger over Ecuador tracking west over the equator out to 120W if not further. Warming was off Central America. The short term trend is looking like a developing cool tongue was building over the East Equatorial Pacific.
Hi-res Overview: (3/30) A pocket of cool anomalies is trying to hold south of the equator starting at 5S west of Peru between 100W and 140W but losing some coverage compared to days past. A mirror image of it was also off California and Baja Mexico out to 160W. Warm anomalies were building along Chile and Peru then stronger up to Ecuador and Central America up to Mainland Mexico out over the Galapagos. But a cool tongue was extending from Panama over the Galapagos to 110W through the heart of the building warm pool. Warmer than normal water were tracking from the Galapagos out to the dateline and beyond. Water temps appear to be stable but the building cool tongue is of concern indicating a weak mixture of both El Nino and La Nina.
Nino1.2 Daily CDAS Index Temps: (3/31) Today's temps were rising some to +0.549, positive in that range since 2/28. Previously temps had been toggling near neutral. It now appears we are in a rising or at least warmer trend.
Nino 3.4 Daily CDAS Index Temps:
(3/31) Temps were falling some at +0.512. Temps previously were in the +0.2 degree range but rose to the +0.4 degree range on 1/4 and have been holding steady ever since.

Click for Full Sized Image Click for Full Sized Image

CFSV2 Forecast for Nino3.4 Sea Surface Temp (SST) Anomalies & Current SST Anomalies

SST Anomaly Projections
CFSv2 Uncorrected Data (3/31) Actual's indicate temperatures started rising in early Oct to +0.25 degs holding to Dec 1 then rising again to +0.65 degs Jan 1 2020 holding through Feb. From there temps started falling early March down to +0.5 degs. The forecast depicts temps falling, down to 0.0 in early May then diving negative appearing to be moving strongly to La Nina down at -1.5 in early Oct bottoming and holding there into Nov. According to this model a neutral sea surface temperature pattern biased slightly warm is forecast for Spring of 2020 but falling strongly towards La Nina in the core of Summer.
IRI Consensus Plume: The March 19, 2020 Plume depicts temps are at +0.30 degs, and are to slow fade to neutral +0.00 in June 2020, then falling some to -0.15 degs in the October 2020 timeframe. See chart here - link.

Atmospheric Coupling (Indicating the presence of El Nino in the atmosphere driven by the ocean):
Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) (negative is good, positive bad) (3/31): The daily index was weakly negative today at -1.48 and has been negative for 16 day now. The 30 day average was rising at -5.64. The 90 day average was rising some at -2.61, suggesting a neutral ENSO pattern was developing.
ESPI Index (like SOI but based on satellite confirmed precipitation. Positive and/or rising is good, negative and/or falling is bad): Dec +0.46, Nov +1.03, Oct +0.27 Sept +1.11, August +0.60, July +0.75, June -0.32, May +1.10, April +0.30, March +1.0, Feb +1.29, Jan +0.193. This index has been steadily positive but still indicates mostly ENSO neutral conditions (not El Nino).

Pacific Decadal Oscillation
Per NOAAs index recent values: Jan 2018 +0.29, Feb -0.19, Mar -0.61, April -0.89, May -0.69, June -0.85, July -0.09, Aug -0.43, Sept -0.46, Oct -0.75, Nov -0.78, Dec -0.12, Jan 2019 -0.18, Feb -0.50 Mar -0.23, April +0.10, May +0.14, June -0.11, July +0.44, Aug -0.14, Sept +0.05, Oct -0.96, Nov -0.28, Dec +0.01, Jan 2020 -1.17, This continues to look like the warm phase of the PDO. No consistently solid negative readings have occurred since Feb 2014
The Washington/JISAO index (Jan-Dec): Jan 2018 +0.70. Feb +0.37, Mar -0.05, April +0.11, May +0.11, June -0.04, July +0.11, Aug +0.18, Sept +0.09. No real negative readings have occurred since Dec 2013
The PDO turned from a 16 year negative run (Jan 98-Feb 2014) in early 2014 and has been positive ever since (other than a few months of negative readings in Fall 2016, the result of a turn towards La Nina). Looking at the long term record, it is premature to conclude that we have in-fact turned from the negative phase (La Nina 'like') to the positive phase (El Nino 'like'), but the data strongly suggests that could be a possibility. By the time it is confirmed (4-5 years out), we will be well into it.

See imagery in the ENSO Powertool 


External Reference Material: El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), Kelvin Wave

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Local Interest

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Stormsurf and Mavericks on HBO Sports with Bryant Gumbel

Mavericks Invitational Pieces Featuring Stormsurf:

Time Zone Converter By popular demand we've built and easy to use time convert that transposes GMT time to whatever time zone you are located. It's ion left hand column on every page on the site near the link to the swell calculator.

Surf Height-Swell Height Correlation Table


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